English, Department of



Alvin Baker, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Document Type Article

A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Major: English. Under the Supervision of Professor R.D. Stock.
Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Alvin Baker.


This work contains my translation of Thomas Creech’s dedicatory letter to Christopher Codrington and his interpretations of books one and two from Titi Lucretii Cari De rerum natura libri sex quibus interpretationem et notas addidit Thomas Creech ..., Oxonii : E Theatro Sheldoniano, impensis Ab. Swall & Tim. Child, bibliopol. Lond. ..., 1695 (Early English Books Online [EEBO]). I have then connected Creech’s learned interpretations to his own translation of De Rerum Natura (1682), thus allowing him to interpret his own verse translation. The introduction is a literary biography about Thomas Creech, in which I discuss his literary works and examine and resolve the controversies surrounding my author, such as Dryden’s plotting to destroy him, the disrepute of his rendering of Horace, and the cause(s) of his suicide. Furthermore, expounding on the different methods of translating in the 17th and 18th century, I examine how Creech interprets his author and renders him into English verse, usually in heroic couplets. This work illustrates that Creech was a brilliant interpreter of Lucretius and an exceptional translator, the most prolific translator of the 17th and 18th century, deserving a place of honor beside Dryden and Pope.

To read the entire edition on which my dissertation is based, you must enter EEBO, which can be reached through your university’s library (electronic resources online), and search for the following work: Titus Lucretius Carus his six books of Epicurean philosophy, done into English verse, with notes, London : printed for Anthony Stephens, bookseller near the Theatre in Oxford, 1683. Type in Creech for KEYWORD(s): and Lucretius for AUTHOR KEYWORD(s): You can also find this work on Eighteenth Century Collection Online (ECCO): Lucretius Carus, Titus, Titus Lucretius Carus, his six books of Epicurean philosophy, done into English verse, with notes. By T. Creech, ... The fifth edition. London, 1712. This edition on ECCO is a reprint of the 3rd edition.